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MCT649T650 .,„.,. 
Toledo Museum ol An (NIC) Toledo 
Deceptions in glass 


The Research Center 

Deceptions in Glass 

TheToledo Museum of Art 

Deceptions in Glass 

TheTbledo Museum of Art 

Cover: Pseudo Core-Made Unguent Bottles 

Blown or mould blown, with trailed decoration; Spanish and Eastern Mediten 
late 19th and early 20th century. Left to right: 23.2403— frosted white with opaque 
yellow, brown and blue threads— Ht. 5 3 A in.; 23.2401— blue with opaque white 
threads— Ht 6 in.; 23.2402— purple with opaque yellow, red and white threads— Ht. 
7Va \n.; 23.2396—blue with opaque red, turquoise and yellow threads— Ht. 4V lb in.; 
23.2400— blue with opaque yellow and white threads— Ht. 7Vi in. 
Genuine core-made vessels were first manufactured in the 2nd millennium B.C. and 
continued to be made until the 1st century B.C. They were made by trailing molten 
glass onto a core of clay and organic materials. After the glass had cooled, the core was 
removed . In the late 19th century copies of core-made vessels began to appear. In all 
instances, these copies are either blown or mould blown, and not made on a core. They 
also display different shapes, colors and decorative patterns. 

1 Statuette of Horus and Lid of Canopic Jar 
Opaque dark blue; cast in moulds; probably 
Egyptian; early 20th century (23.172 and 23 .238 from 
the Thomas Curtis Collection)— Ht. statuette 7Vz in., 
Ht. lid 2% in. 

These two objects belong to a group thought to have 
been cast from ancient stone, faience or metal pieces 
(Journal of Class Studies, 2, 1960, 40-43). As exact 
replicas of authentic objects they were detected 
chiefly because such objects in glass are unknown 
from controlled archaeological excavations. A third 
object, the upper half of a shawabti figure (23.103) 
also belongs to this group, but it is a free adaptation 
rather than a direct casting. 

2 Striped Mosaic Glass Bowl 

Cast from polychrome glass canes: possibly 
Venetian; late 19th century (23.1490, from the 
Thomas Curtis Collection)— D. 4 3 A in. 
This shallow bowl revives the style of striped mosaic 
glass made in the Roman Empire during the 1st 
centuries B.C. and A.D. It is probably one of a great 

the Murano factories during the late 19th century. 
Unlike Roman pieces, this vessel has an out-turned 
rim and convex bottom. Neither side has been wheel- 
polished and the surface is uneven and waxy to the 
touch. The colors also differ from genuine examples. 
(Color photo: Art in Glass, Toledo Museum of Art, 
Toledo, 1969, p. 12.) 

3 Vase 

Translucent pale blue cased over opaque white; 
blown, with applied lion's head medallions; European; 
late 19th or early 20th century (45.17)— Ht. 10 3 A in. 
This cased vessel was once thought to be Roman 1st- 
3rd century A.D. The shape, however, is unknown 
among Roman glassware, and in fact it is more 
reminiscent of late 19th or early 20th century glass, 
especially that influenced by the Art Nouveau style. 
The casing technique also conforms more closely 
with modern than with Roman examples. The 
medallions are clumsy adaptations of ancient 

4 Cameo Glass Vase 

Opaque white overlay on dark blue; blown and acid 
etched; probably English; late 19th century; much 
restored (23.1501; from the Thomas Curtis 
Collection)— Ht. 7%in. 

This vase, once considered 1st century A.D. Roman, 
was shown to be a modern forgery for stylistic and 
technical reasons. Stylistically, the athlete is more 
reminiscent of 19th century English art than of 1st 
century Roman, and the decorative motifs, such as 
the palmettes, do not correspond to Roman 
examples. The shape of the vase also differs from 
ancient prototypes. Chemical analyses show that the 
glass contains more lead oxide than is normal for 
ancient cameo glass, and microscopic examination 
suggests that the piece was acid etched rather than 
cut, as was true of Roman cameo glass. Since acid 
etched cameo glass was produced in 19th century 
England, this vase probably was made there. 

5 Small Bowl 

Colorless; blown, cut and engraved; provenance 
unknown; 4th century A.D. bowl with modern 
engraving (51. 311)~D. 3^2 in. 
The bowl is probably Roman. The engraving, 
however, was added in modern times to enhance the 
value of the piece. The engraved design has no 
parallels in ancient Roman workmanship. 
Specifically, the zig-zag lines near the rim are 
unknown on Roman engraved vessels, and the lions 
and sphinxes probably copy archaic Greek animal 
motifs of the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. Such animal; 
do not appear in Roman art of the 4th century A.D. 

6 Jars 

Blue with opaque white and yellow blobs; blown. 
with applied decoration; Eastern Mediterranean; 
Ca. 1890-1917 (17.141; 27.196)— Ht. 3 3 A in. andHt. 4 in. 
These jars are typical of a large group of similar 
vessels found in many public and private collections. 
They are adaptations of a type of Roman glass of the 
1st century A.D. although the shapes and the 
decorative patterns only approximate ancient pieces. 
As such, they are free copies of ancient workman- 
ship. The surfaces have been coated with dirt and 
iridescent flakes of weathered glass to give them the 
appearance of antiquity. Similar jars still appear at 
public auction (Sales Cat., Sotheby Parke-Bernet, 
May8, 1976, lot 167, ill.). 


i I i . \ 12 


7 Footed Bowl (Tazza) 

Pale yellow with opaque white trails, gilding, and 
mosaic glass insets; blown and tooled; Venetian (?); 
probably 19th century (13.443)— Ht. 5 3 A in. 
This tazza purports to be from the 17th century. In 
reality it is a composite piece, with a 19th century 
bowl "married" to the stem and foot of an older 
vessel. Such composite pieces in glass are 
uncommon. They are encountered frequently in 
other decorative arts objects, especially furniture. 
The mosaic technique was inspired by ancient mosaic 

8 Roemer 

Pale olive green; blown, with enamelled and applied 
decoration; German or Bohemian; late 19th century 
(50.49)— Ht. 8% in. 

During the 17th century roemers with raspberry 
prunts became popular as drinking vessels 
throughout Northern Europe. Many were decorated 
with engraved or enamelled designs. In the 19th 
century reproductions of these vessels appeared in 
great numbers. When compared with an authentic 
example, however, this copy can be detected as 
modern because of its greater weight, better quality 
of glass, odd coloration, lack of bubbles, and crisp 

with gilding and applied 
i (?); late 19th century 

9 Goblet 

Pale brown; blown, 
decoration; Venetia 
(58.23)— Ht. 17 3 A ir 
This striking piece at first appears to date to the 16th 
or 17th century, but on closer examination it must be 
regarded as a 19th century vessel done in an earlier 
style. The clarity and weight of the glass differ from 
earlier examples, and the shape and decoration only 
approximate authentic pieces. 

10 Tumbler 

Colorless; blown, with colored enamelled and gilt 
decoration; German or Bohemian; late 19th century 
(53.47)— Ht. 5 3 A in. 

This tumbler is one of eight nearly identical tumblers 
with the inscription "Iones Tamatz Anno 1910'.' 
(A. von Saldern, German Enamelled Glass, Corning, 
N.Y., 1965, no. 157, 237-239, 434 ill.). These 
tumblers are in the style of 17th and 18th century 
German enamelled glass which was much copied in 
the latter half of the 19th century. Since all the 
tumblers are the same, they may have been made as 
innocent reproductions that later passed into private 
and public collections as genuine pieces. Presumably, 
they were all made by one factory. 

11 Firing Glass and Wine Glass 

Colorless; mould blown and engraved; Bohemian (?); 
18th or early 19th century (59.44 and 39.80)— 
Ht.4% in. and 5 in. 

Irinking vessels with engraved 
floral sprays and festoons were 
i. Pieces such as these were often 
s factory operated from 1784 to 
ck Amelung at New Bremen, 

5 shown that these 
:>ut are imports from 
sses similar to these two 
rinted catalogues of 
i the United States. Such 
-ibutions frequently arise when dealing with 
glass used in the United States during the 18th and 
early 19th century. 

12 Tumblers (Stiegel-typef 
Colorless; blown, with engraved or enamelled 
decoration; European or American; 18th century 
(12.33 and 17. 289)— Ht. 6% in. and 5 in. 
Tumblers with engraved or enamelled decoration 
executed in this rustic "peasant" style were 
manufactured in both the United States and Central 
Europe during the 18th century. In America the glass 
factory operated by Henry William Stiegel at 
Manheim, Pennsylvania from 1763 to 1774 has often 
been considered the source of such pieces. But since 
Stiegel and other contemporary glassmakers 
employed transplanted European artisans, and since 
they continued to decorate glass in European styles, 
it is presently impossible to distinguish the American 
tumblers from their European counterparts that were 
imported in large quantities (A. von Saldern, 
German Enamelled Glass, Corning, N.Y., 1965, 154). 
Accordingly, a definite origin for these glasses 
remains questionable and possibly may never be 

Until recently glass 
masonic emblems c 
considered Americ, 
attributed to the gl, 
1795 by John Frede 
Maryland. Researc 
glasses are not Am< 
Bohemia or Germa 
are actually known 
European gl 


3 8000 00070 4821 

The Research Center 

The exhibition was organized by David Grose, Curator of Glass and Deanne Johns, 
Kress Fellow in Glass. The programs of the Research Center are partially funded by the 
Kress Foundation. 

Deceptive pieces of glass fall into several different categories. Some 
are deliberate fabrications intended to deceive. Others are composite 
pieces made up from several vessels; or pieces with missing parts — bases, 
handles, and the like — replaced. Some authentic glasses have even had 
decoration added in part or in whole to enhance their value. Still others 
are skillful, though innocent, reproductions of genuine pieces, or are 
revivals of earlier styles. Finally, there are a great many glass vessels 
from all periods which are misattributed. They are thought to belong to 
a certain period, but in fact were made at a different time or place. 
Misattributions are honest mistakes; errors that are slowly corrected 
through increased study and knowledge. 

Detection of spurious objects relies on two related approaches. The first 
is the expert knowledge or intuition of the specialist. This expertise 
develops from the accumulated experience of individuals who handle 
thousands of objects during their careers. Their trained eyes and 
knowledge of comparable objects enable them to judge authenticity by 

careful examination of material, technique, stylistic characteristics, 
condition and history. 

The second approach relies on scientific analyses of the object's 
materials by physical and chemical tests. For glass, x-ray and ultra- 
violet examinations, spectroscopy, and microscopic surface analyses 
have been the most successful in detecting copies or fakes. Unfortu- 
nately, as techniques of detection have become increasingly sophisti- 
cated, so have methods of deception. 

The glass illustrated here has been selected from the Museum's 
collection for the exhibition Deceptions in Glass held at the Museum 
May 26 through August 22, 1977. The pieces illustrate the various 
categories of deceptive objects, and show how deceptive pieces may be 
distinguished from genuine examples. These objects were chosen from a 
larger group used for educational purposes housed in the John D. 
Biggers Glass Study Room. 


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